Chameleon won’t eat

Nosy be Hotdog

New Member
Hey guys!
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - 7month old, Male, Nosy Be Panther chameleon
  • Handling - 1-2 times a week to bring him from his outside area back to cage
  • Feeding - Normally feed 8-10 crickets a day. 1 Hornworm, Waxworm, or superworm, once a week. Crickets are gutloaded with flukers orange cubes, food block, and apple chunks.
  • Supplements- dust feeders in repti calcium without D3 every feeding, with D3 / Reptivite with D3 twice a month
  • Watering - I use a dripper as well as hand misting 3/4 times a day for 1+ minutes. I see him drink from leaves at least every other day
  • Fecal Description - Normally brown dropping with mostly white urates, hasn’t been eating much but his last poop seemed completely normal. Hasn’t been tested as I don’t have a exotic pet hotspot anywhere near me.
  • History - Bought him from Captive Bred Reptiles at 2 months old. Have had him since.
Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - 2x2x4 ft screen cage, with pvc panels bolted on back and sides to keep humidity in, top and front are open are screen.
  • Lighting - Zoo med 100 w basking bulb and Repti Sun 5.0 T5 linear UVB bulb/lamp
  • Temperature - Two hygrometers one at top of cage one towards bottom. Basking spot ranges from 87-95 F and lower cage ranges from 70-75 F. At night his cage ranges around 70-75 F
  • Humidity - Humidity levels stay around 50-60 but drop low over night without a misting system, am in the process of setting up a humidity machine to run at night.
  • Plants - I have one live tree, forget the name but made sure it’s Cham friendly, and and working on putting my pothos in there. Rest are washed and reptile safe fake pothos leaves and vines
  • Placement - Located in my office where I do college work and play games. High traffic towards night time but we put a sheet over his cage when lights are off and he’s never seemed bothered before. Across the room from a window in the corner.
  • Location - live in Arizona where it’s extremely dry and hot, hence the trouble with humidity and the bolted pvc panels to cage.
Current Problem - my Cham has stopped eating like normal for the last month or so. We ran out of crickets and he refused to eat Dubai roaches and wouldn’t take super worms or mealworms. Tried giving him wax worms every other day just to keep his weight up. Couldn’t get crickets ordered with the heat problem in AZ and delivery and local stores were always out. Last week I got my hands on some crickets and he ate maybe 8 small ones. He tried eating a hornworm last week but it was gripped really tightly to a branch and I think it pinched him so he spit it out and won’t eat one again. He also will only eat maybe 1-2 crickets every other day if that, and won’t take horn worms or wax worms which used to be his favorite. His poop seems normal. He climbs around normally, staying bright blue and happy when we don’t bother him and he’s in is tree out of his cage. I don’t see his ribs or think he’s underweight but he is quite skinny. At night he still turns pale blue like normal. Lately I have noticed he spends more time under his basking bulb and stays grey for a bit but he still moves around. Is it normal for them to just stop eating? What should I do? Should I skip feedings to every other day? I didn’t think he was old enough to not eat much yet. I will be adding more branches and vines ASAP because I know his cage is a little too bare.
 

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NashansCamos

Chameleon Enthusiast
I will be adding more branches and vines ASAP because I know his cage is a little too bare.
Also one thing I notice is that there are a lot of fake plants in there. real plants are much better for retaining humidity and fake plants pose an impaction risk. real plants shouldnt really be hard to come by I would recommend a pothos or schefflera
 

Nosy be Hotdog

New Member
Also one thing I notice is that there are a lot of fake plants in there. real plants are much better for retaining humidity and fake plants pose an impaction risk. real plants shouldnt really be hard to come by I would recommend a pothos or schefflera
Yes thank you, I’m aware of that and have a pothos I’m putting in there once i have a way to safely hang it. But is that a reason why he’s not eating, which is my original concern?
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
I’m not all that great with panther husbandry so will let someone else weigh in on that. To me it looks ok except for maybe a bit too warm at 95*.
I wonder if he hurt his tongue on the hornworm. Not just that it could have bit him, but since it clung tightly to the branch, maybe he pulled his tongue muscle. Have you seen him shooting his tongue at the crickets?
Some panthers seem to be a bit picky about feeders. You may want to look into breeding your own crickets to prevent running out.
 

NashansCamos

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yes thank you, I’m aware of that and have a pothos I’m putting in there once i have a way to safely hang it. But is that a reason why he’s not eating, which is my original concern?
maybe, but there could be a lot of things that are causing him to do this. To my eyes your husbandry looks pretty good except the temps are too high (try to lower it by about 10 degrees; I would aim for 85) and the fake plants.
 

Lennoncham

Chameleon Enthusiast
Well your gutloading could definitely use some improvement.
65E22997-0ABC-49C1-A09D-7D38F833F486.jpeg


are you using calcium with d3 as well as reptivite with d3?
 

Nosy be Hotdog

New Member
I’m not all that great with panther husbandry so will let someone else weigh in on that. To me it looks ok except for maybe a bit too warm at 95*.
I wonder if he hurt his tongue on the hornworm. Not just that it could have bit him, but since it clung tightly to the branch, maybe he pulled his tongue muscle. Have you seen him shooting his tongue at the crickets?
Some panthers seem to be a bit picky about feeders. You may want to look into breeding your own crickets to prevent running out.
Thank you, I lowered his temp to 80-85. I think maybe he did hurt his tongue yeah, I haven’t seen him shoot at crickets much since so maybe that’s it.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
@Nosy be Hotdog

Hi there see my feedback in red bold.
Chameleon Info:

  • Your Chameleon - 7month old, Male, Nosy Be Panther chameleon
  • Handling - 1-2 times a week to bring him from his outside area back to cage
  • Feeding - Normally feed 8-10 crickets a day. 1 Hornworm, Waxworm, or superworm, once a week. Crickets are gutloaded with flukers orange cubes, food block, and apple chunks. Gutload needs to be diverse. More greens rather then fruit. Adding in things like bee pollen. See gutload image that was posted for you prior.
  • Supplements- dust feeders in repti calcium without D3 every feeding, with D3 / Reptivite with D3 twice a month Just confirming that your not using a secondary calcium with D3. Just the reptivite with D3 two times a month and the Calcium without D3 at all other feedings?
  • Watering - I use a dripper as well as hand misting 3/4 times a day for 1+ minutes. I see him drink from leaves at least every other day
  • Fecal Description - Normally brown dropping with mostly white urates, hasn’t been eating much but his last poop seemed completely normal. Hasn’t been tested as I don’t have a exotic pet hotspot anywhere near me.
  • History - Bought him from Captive Bred Reptiles at 2 months old. Have had him since.
Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - 2x2x4 ft screen cage, with pvc panels bolted on back and sides to keep humidity in, top and front are open are screen.
  • Lighting - Zoo med 100 w basking bulb and Repti Sun 5.0 T5 linear UVB bulb/lamp
  • Temperature - Two hygrometers one at top of cage one towards bottom. Basking spot ranges from 87-95 F and lower cage ranges from 70-75 F. At night his cage ranges around 70-75 F Basking is too hot. 85 would be the max end for basking. 80-85 range for this.
  • Humidity - Humidity levels stay around 50-60 but drop low over night without a misting system, am in the process of setting up a humidity machine to run at night.
  • Plants - I have one live tree, forget the name but made sure it’s Cham friendly, and and working on putting my pothos in there. Rest are washed and reptile safe fake pothos leaves and vines
  • Placement - Located in my office where I do college work and play games. High traffic towards night time but we put a sheet over his cage when lights are off and he’s never seemed bothered before. Across the room from a window in the corner. Make sure you are uncovering his cage when you are done in there. THey need air flow.
  • Location - live in Arizona where it’s extremely dry and hot, hence the trouble with humidity and the bolted pvc panels to cage.
Current Problem - my Cham has stopped eating like normal for the last month or so. We ran out of crickets and he refused to eat Dubai roaches and wouldn’t take super worms or mealworms. Mealworms should not be fed they are low in nutritional value. Tried giving him wax worms every other day just to keep his weight up. Couldn’t get crickets ordered with the heat problem in AZ and delivery and local stores were always out. Sounds like he prefers a faster moving feeder. There are other roaches you could try if getting crickets is difficult. Last week I got my hands on some crickets and he ate maybe 8 small ones. He tried eating a hornworm last week but it was gripped really tightly to a branch and I think it pinched him so he spit it out and won’t eat one again. So Hornworms should never be put on a branch due to how tightly they attach to it this can cause damage when the cham tries to pull it in and it does not let go easily. If this was the cause how is the tongue fuction since this happened. Is it a normal extension and pull in? He also will only eat maybe 1-2 crickets every other day if that, and won’t take horn worms or wax worms which used to be his favorite. His poop seems normal. He climbs around normally, staying bright blue and happy when we don’t bother him and he’s in is tree out of his cage. I don’t see his ribs or think he’s underweight but he is quite skinny. At night he still turns pale blue like normal. Lately I have noticed he spends more time under his basking bulb and stays grey for a bit but he still moves around. Is it normal for them to just stop eating? What should I do? Should I skip feedings to every other day? I didn’t think he was old enough to not eat much yet. I will be adding more branches and vines ASAP because I know his cage is a little too bare.

If he is barely eating now I would not go to an every other day feeding. It can be normal for them to go through phases of stubborn eating when they hit 9 months or so but he is a bit young for that. I would get a fecal done to ensure there is not a parasite issue. Really watch the way he is taking feeders to ensure the tongue is working properly. see if there seem to be any black marks on the tongue or inside the mouth as well.
 

Nosy be Hotdog

New Member
@Nosy be Hotdog

Hi there see my feedback in red bold.
Chameleon Info:

  • Your Chameleon - 7month old, Male, Nosy Be Panther chameleon
  • Handling - 1-2 times a week to bring him from his outside area back to cage
  • Feeding - Normally feed 8-10 crickets a day. 1 Hornworm, Waxworm, or superworm, once a week. Crickets are gutloaded with flukers orange cubes, food block, and apple chunks. Gutload needs to be diverse. More greens rather then fruit. Adding in things like bee pollen. See gutload image that was posted for you prior.
  • Supplements- dust feeders in repti calcium without D3 every feeding, with D3 / Reptivite with D3 twice a month Just confirming that your not using a secondary calcium with D3. Just the reptivite with D3 two times a month and the Calcium without D3 at all other feedings?
  • Watering - I use a dripper as well as hand misting 3/4 times a day for 1+ minutes. I see him drink from leaves at least every other day
  • Fecal Description - Normally brown dropping with mostly white urates, hasn’t been eating much but his last poop seemed completely normal. Hasn’t been tested as I don’t have a exotic pet hotspot anywhere near me.
  • History - Bought him from Captive Bred Reptiles at 2 months old. Have had him since.
Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - 2x2x4 ft screen cage, with pvc panels bolted on back and sides to keep humidity in, top and front are open are screen.
  • Lighting - Zoo med 100 w basking bulb and Repti Sun 5.0 T5 linear UVB bulb/lamp
  • Temperature - Two hygrometers one at top of cage one towards bottom. Basking spot ranges from 87-95 F and lower cage ranges from 70-75 F. At night his cage ranges around 70-75 F Basking is too hot. 85 would be the max end for basking. 80-85 range for this.
  • Humidity - Humidity levels stay around 50-60 but drop low over night without a misting system, am in the process of setting up a humidity machine to run at night.
  • Plants - I have one live tree, forget the name but made sure it’s Cham friendly, and and working on putting my pothos in there. Rest are washed and reptile safe fake pothos leaves and vines
  • Placement - Located in my office where I do college work and play games. High traffic towards night time but we put a sheet over his cage when lights are off and he’s never seemed bothered before. Across the room from a window in the corner. Make sure you are uncovering his cage when you are done in there. THey need air flow.
  • Location - live in Arizona where it’s extremely dry and hot, hence the trouble with humidity and the bolted pvc panels to cage.
Current Problem - my Cham has stopped eating like normal for the last month or so. We ran out of crickets and he refused to eat Dubai roaches and wouldn’t take super worms or mealworms. Mealworms should not be fed they are low in nutritional value. Tried giving him wax worms every other day just to keep his weight up. Couldn’t get crickets ordered with the heat problem in AZ and delivery and local stores were always out. Sounds like he prefers a faster moving feeder. There are other roaches you could try if getting crickets is difficult. Last week I got my hands on some crickets and he ate maybe 8 small ones. He tried eating a hornworm last week but it was gripped really tightly to a branch and I think it pinched him so he spit it out and won’t eat one again. So Hornworms should never be put on a branch due to how tightly they attach to it this can cause damage when the cham tries to pull it in and it does not let go easily. If this was the cause how is the tongue fuction since this happened. Is it a normal extension and pull in? He also will only eat maybe 1-2 crickets every other day if that, and won’t take horn worms or wax worms which used to be his favorite. His poop seems normal. He climbs around normally, staying bright blue and happy when we don’t bother him and he’s in is tree out of his cage. I don’t see his ribs or think he’s underweight but he is quite skinny. At night he still turns pale blue like normal. Lately I have noticed he spends more time under his basking bulb and stays grey for a bit but he still moves around. Is it normal for them to just stop eating? What should I do? Should I skip feedings to every other day? I didn’t think he was old enough to not eat much yet. I will be adding more branches and vines ASAP because I know his cage is a little too bare.

If he is barely eating now I would not go to an every other day feeding. It can be normal for them to go through phases of stubborn eating when they hit 9 months or so but he is a bit young for that. I would get a fecal done to ensure there is not a parasite issue. Really watch the way he is taking feeders to ensure the tongue is working properly. see if there seem to be any black marks on the tongue or inside the mouth as well.
Thanks for the feedback. Will try and get more leafy greens in the gutload diet and look at his tongue.
Adjusted his basking temp, thanks for that. Was confused cause I read on other forums that for a 6 month old and older their basking spots can go up to 95 maybe that was another chameleon type though, so thanks for correcting me!
For the calcium, yes I do without D3 every feeding and I alternate between Reptivite with D3 once after two weeks, then repticalcium with D3 once after two weeks. So Reptivite with D3 once a month and calcium with D3 once a month, but technically D3 of some sort twice a month. Not at the same time- that’s too much D3 and I know about MBD. This was advice I was given by another member on here.

I don’t normally give him mealworms because I know they’re not great for them, I was just trying to see if he would eat anything at all when he stopped eating. So they’re not a part of his diet except for that once and he only ate 1.
Yes I uncover his cage as soon as I’m done in the room or when he has fallen asleep and I leave the lights oand do my work quietly in the dark.
Very sad about his poor tongue and I know better now to not put a worm on his branch. I wish I didn’t make that mistake in the first place. He doesn’t like to cup feed or take from tongs, he usually likes me to release a couple crickets at a time so he can hunt them so I figured I do the same with the horn worm but I know not to do that again, though I don’t think he’ll be wanting another hornworm anytime soon.
I will try again tomorrow feeding crickets to see if he’ll try and use his tongue. My boyfriend said he has seen him use it the day before yesterday and ate 2 crickets but he didn’t pay attention whether it had any spots on it. I’m hoping he’s just being picky right now and it’s not that. He came out of his cage today to play in his tree and crawled onto me while doing my work to explore my laptop, I did keep watch on him and put him back in his tree after a few minutes. He was bright blue and active throughout that all.
i will update again tomorrow. Thank you for the help!
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks for the feedback. Will try and get more leafy greens in the gutload diet and look at his tongue.
Adjusted his basking temp, thanks for that. Was confused cause I read on other forums that for a 6 month old and older their basking spots can go up to 95 maybe that was another chameleon type though, so thanks for correcting me!
For the calcium, yes I do without D3 every feeding and I alternate between Reptivite with D3 once after two weeks, then repticalcium with D3 once after two weeks. So Reptivite with D3 once a month and calcium with D3 once a month, but technically D3 of some sort twice a month. Not at the same time- that’s too much D3 and I know about MBD. This was advice I was given by another member on here.

I don’t normally give him mealworms because I know they’re not great for them, I was just trying to see if he would eat anything at all when he stopped eating. So they’re not a part of his diet except for that once and he only ate 1.
Yes I uncover his cage as soon as I’m done in the room or when he has fallen asleep and I leave the lights oand do my work quietly in the dark.
Very sad about his poor tongue and I know better now to not put a worm on his branch. I wish I didn’t make that mistake in the first place. He doesn’t like to cup feed or take from tongs, he usually likes me to release a couple crickets at a time so he can hunt them so I figured I do the same with the horn worm but I know not to do that again, though I don’t think he’ll be wanting another hornworm anytime soon.
I will try again tomorrow feeding crickets to see if he’ll try and use his tongue. My boyfriend said he has seen him use it the day before yesterday and ate 2 crickets but he didn’t pay attention whether it had any spots on it. I’m hoping he’s just being picky right now and it’s not that. He came out of his cage today to play in his tree and crawled onto me while doing my work to explore my laptop, I did keep watch on him and put him back in his tree after a few minutes. He was bright blue and active throughout that all.
i will update again tomorrow. Thank you for the help!
Ok so that sounds right however the supplements are off... You do not need the Calcium with D3 if you have reptivite with D3. Instead of using it you would use the reptivite two times a month say the 1st and the 15th. This gives calcium with D3 twice and the multivitamin twice a month. With the advice you were given your missing a dose of multivitamin a month which is very important as reptivite has Vitamin A for eye health. So if it were me that is what I would do.

One other thing I would recommend is getting a drip pan for that cage and removing all the towels in the bottom. It will stay cleaner this way and then you will not have mildew or mold risk. You can get a plastic washing machine tray or a dragon strand trip pan. https://dragonstrand.com/alternative-cage-manufaturers/

For water removal either a gravity drain into a bucket or a wet vacuum to pull the water out.
 

Nosy be Hotdog

New Member
Ok so that sounds right however the supplements are off... You do not need the Calcium with D3 if you have reptivite with D3. Instead of using it you would use the reptivite two times a month say the 1st and the 15th. This gives calcium with D3 twice and the multivitamin twice a month. With the advice you were given your missing a dose of multivitamin a month which is very important as reptivite has Vitamin A for eye health. So if it were me that is what I would do.

One other thing I would recommend is getting a drip pan for that cage and removing all the towels in the bottom. It will stay cleaner this way and then you will not have mildew or mold risk. You can get a plastic washing machine tray or a dragon strand trip pan. https://dragonstrand.com/alternative-cage-manufaturers/

For water removal either a gravity drain into a bucket or a wet vacuum to pull the water out.
Thanks for the advice on the supplements I will be sure to do that!
Yes im working on setting up drainage as my principal method failed, but I will be sure to fix that very soon thank you!
 

Nosy be Hotdog

New Member
An update! He’s eaten about 4 crickets already and hunting still. I’ve seen him drink as well and climb around. It was hard to see his tongue because he didn’t like me watching him hunt but the function seemed alright and I didn’t notice any unusual coloring or spots.
Thank you everyone for your advice and help. I’m hoping he is just going through a picky food phase and will begin eating like normal very soon. It’s hard to know what information is right out there when there are so many people telling you different things. These creatures are truly amazing and I’m so glad to have my cham. I thought the research I did before getting him was enough but now I know it’s never enough lol. Thanks for the corrections on my supplements, gutload, and basking temps, I really appreciate your help everyone!
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
An update! He’s eaten about 4 crickets already and hunting still. I’ve seen him drink as well and climb around. It was hard to see his tongue because he didn’t like me watching him hunt but the function seemed alright and I didn’t notice any unusual coloring or spots.
Thank you everyone for your advice and help. I’m hoping he is just going through a picky food phase and will begin eating like normal very soon. It’s hard to know what information is right out there when there are so many people telling you different things. These creatures are truly amazing and I’m so glad to have my cham. I thought the research I did before getting him was enough but now I know it’s never enough lol. Thanks for the corrections on my supplements, gutload, and basking temps, I really appreciate your help everyone!
Glad to hear he is eating... And the horn may have just made the tongue more tender now it is healing. Some get more extreme injuries which is why we are more cautious with hornworms. Good luck let us know if you have other questions.
 
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